Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Papercraft Silhouette Project

I have got so used to using my Silhouette cameo to cut vinyl, that I have become lazy about trying it with paper, which is much more tricky to cut. But I bought it to cut paper so I am determined to keep trying.

Here is card I made this week, using a file called Butterfly gate-fold card, from a lady called Monica, who offers lots of lovely cutting files for free on her blog. If you use any electric cutting machine, it is well worth paying her a visit. She offers her files in many different formats, so they are suitable for most cutters.
I chose some double sided card and was pleased when it cut very well. I decided to use the pretty floral side for the inner surface, and the plainer green for the outside. I used a Signature die to cut the sentiment and added it to the front of the card, having first added some pink stickles glitter glue to help it to stand out.
Then I used some Art Impressions stamps and a Versafine Olympia green ink pad, to stamp vines and shrubs on each side of the front.
Thy looked rather plain so I raided my bin and rescued all the tiny off-cuts of paper from around the sentiments etc and fussy cut all the pink flowers from them. I glued these to the vines. To finish it off I added pink stickles around the butterflies at the top of the arch. I had also cut out two free-standing butterflies  and I reversed these so the flowers were on top, and glued them over the centre of the lattice on each front. There were two holes below the front butterflies at the top, that were part of the design but served no real purpose to my mind, so I fixed a pink butterfly brad in each of these.
Here is a close up of the right hand front to show the details, and because it is a truer colour than the other photos.
I was hoping to enter this in Mrs A´s Butterfly challenge, because it says it runs until 20.00 GMT which means there is still a couple of hours to go, but Mr Linky has disappeared so I guess I am too late. But not to worry. I don´t make cards to enter challenges, but enter them if they happen to fit. I made this card with someone in mind and enjoyed doing it, and that is what counts.
But I will link it up over Pixie´s Snippets Playground, because those flowers are the tiniest snippets I have ever used!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Stamps and Old Papers for Rudolph Day

Yes it is time to start another round of Rudolph day challenges where we make a Christmas card for the 25th day of each month. This year the challenge is hosted by our friend Scrappymo, at her blog Scraps of Life by Scrappymo!
There are no restrictions as long as your card is for Christmas, so why not come along and join in with the fun.
As I send around 150 cards each Christmas, making one a month is not going to help me much, so I often do a run of my design, but this month I have just made two.
As my header says, I used some new stamps. I saw a card using this image on Maxine´s blog, and liked it enough to send for the stamp, but they had to come from America and arrived too late to use for the Christmas just gone, so I thought I´d ink them up for today.
The image, and both the sentiments, come from a set of stamps called Joy to the World, by Our Daily Bread.
I inked the image twice onto white paper with Expresso truffle Momento ink, and once onto eclipse paper so I could cut it out to use as a mask. With the mask in place I used an ink duster to add tumbled glass distress ink around each image, and then I coloured the images with copic markers.

For the first card I cut the image with a Go Create, frilly squares #9 die. (I don´t know where the name came from because they are not frilly at all, but there is a whole series of these, and they are well worth looking for, as there are some very attractive, and different shapes amongst them). I then cut around the outer edge of the die from blue card to make a narrow mat. The snowflake backing paper is some I rescued from a received card, and I again matted it onto matching blue card, and then a mottled turquoise  base card. I bought a thick A4 pad of this card back in the days when I lived in UK, and a stall in the weekly market sold pads of factory ends of card. Over the weeks I bought one of every colour they had, and I still have enough to last me for my lifetime! Under the topper, I stamped a sentiment from the same set of stamps as the image, and added a few tiny snowflakes to link it to the top.

For the second card I used a Creative Expressions die from the Sue Wilson California collection. I cut a mat in the same way as above, using very dark brown card. I mounted this over another rescued backing paper from a received card, and another turquoise base card, a little larger than before. I needed to link the image to the base so I used left over snippets of the brown card to cut a pair of foliage sprays, using a Joanna Sheen Signature die. I like these dies because they come as a matching pair, one facing each way, which my inbuilt need for balance approves of! I stamped another sentiment from the same set onto an off-cut of the turquoise card and fussy cat around it, then mounted it over the foliage.
So that is my first two cards for next year made, and I will now link them up with:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trying something different.

That is a bit of a misnomer as none of these projects are entirely new to me, but they are different from making cards which is what I normally post about on here.
Once the Three Kings festival is over, it is pretty quiet here for a month or two, so I have had time to complete a few projects that have been on my ´to do´list for a while.
1. Some digital scrapbooking. I started by re-running a few video tutorials on using masks and other techniques in Photoshop, and then I put together this page which features a photo of some of my decorations this Christmas.

I hope to be making more pages on random topics through the year. This was a resolution I made last year but never got started on it, so hopefully this is a more positive kick-start.

2. Using many of the same techniques as for the scrapbook page, I then made this picture for my son´s partner. She had a puppy when she was twelve, and it has been her constant companion for seventeen years. She was the fittest dog I´ve ever known. Even as recently as a year ago, she was still up for a walk around the park, and would still play with a frisbee, but sadly they had to say ´Good-bye´to her in November. So I got my son to send some photos of Bow (She was called Strongbow!), which I made black and white. The backing paper, called Bearly Mine-Heart flourish, was in my computer folder of downloaded papers, but I can´t remember where it came from, but I toned the very white background of it to a pale grey. I used two of the hearts on it to add some printed words, and also added some to the main image, both sentiments I have seen on the internet and saved until needed. Then I placed the main image fairly centrally, and used bought, digital photo masks to add the other photos around it. I gave it a narrow black frame and now it is posted , and hopefully will soon be with Ella. I hope she likes it.

3. Next project is a decorated mirror for my craft room. When I changed my room around back in October I rescued a big mirror that was propped up against the wall, left there from when I had kittens who just love to play with their own reflection. I scrubbed it up, but it had a very bright blue frame so I dealt with that first. I gave it a couple of layers of white gesso and two of pale aqua-green paint that was left over from painting the trims around the house last Autumn. It still looks blue in the photo but it isn´t at all. It had sat around like that for a few months, so this week I cut two images from black vinyl and stuck them on opposite corners. I am a bit of a font-addict and have around 2,000 fonts on my computer, but recently I have bought some commercial script fonts with lots of added glyphs or flourishes. It was a bit of a learning curve to master how to access these and use them properly, but again I found some good video tutorials, so I set about using Samantha font, with added glyphs, to write the words, "Wish", "Dream", "Imagine", "Create", imported them into my silhouette cameo, and cut them out from different coloured vinyls, and added them to the mirror. Finally, I used some butterfly cutting files from my silhouette library, and the same colours of vinyl, and added three butterflies to two corners of the frame. It took some juggling around to get a photo without my reflection in it, but I couldn´t avoid the door frame, and I took it in a rather dark corridor so the colour of the frame is not very true. But I am pleased with the end result, and it is now hanging above my craft desk, quite high because it is only for decoration, and it actually reflects the light and brightens up my room in the evenings.

4. My fourth project is something completely different. I have finished a blanket that I have been making for months. I always have some knitting and/or crochet on the go, which I mostly do if I sit to watch TV in the evening, but as I don´t watch TV very often, these projects usually take me a long time to complete. I am still running my Knit for Africa project, and ladies at my sewing group give me baby clothes they have knitted, and lots of squares for blankets, which I sew together and finish off with an edging. But through the summer it was too hot to have a blanket on my lap, so I put them aside and decided to make some squares of my own, because they are nice little pieces of work to hold. I prefer to crochet. Mum did a lot, and the house was always filled with cushions with ´granny squares´for the covers, but more recently there has been a resurgence of interest in this craft, and the internet is full of patterns for new stitches and designs, that I have never tried. So I made a sampler blanket with twenty-five squares, each in a different colour and a different stitch. Some had to be undone and restarted several times, because I had to ensure they were all making up to roughly the same size. When they were all done, I crocheted a simple narrow edge to each one, and then crocheted them together instead of sewing them. It makes good strong seams, and adds an interesting ridge around each square. Then I did a few rounds in grey and orange to finish it off. I love the finished blanket.
One or two of the stitches were complicated and I won´t be using them again, but others had really nice textures, and some I would like to use to make a whole blanket in the one stitch. Here is a close up of some of my favourites.

This was a good way to use up the balls of wool left over from the baby clothes. I always say to my ladies to bring me any left-overs to use for blankets, so I have a big bag of wool ´snippets´. I have one kind friend who takes all the really tiny pieces and knits stripey squares with them. Sometimes she only gets one or two rows out of each piece. They look lovely when they are done, but there are so many ends to sew in!! I am really grateful to her for doing this. But I prefer the ´snippets´that are just long enough to make a whole square, and I am glad I have finally used some up. So this will be in my next consignment of knitting to go to the charity we support. And, in the meantime I will link this fourth project up in Pixie´s Snippets playground. It will make a change from taking a card there with me!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

You´re a Star

Who´s a star? Why you are! The ´You´ in question this time is another of my grandsons who will be leaving his teens behind him at the end of this month. How can that be possible? It seems like only yesterday that I was looking after him with his cousin of the same age, and they were laying together in the playpen, out in our back garden!
His main hobby is acting, and each year he is part of the cast for the pantomime at Perton Civic Centre near Wolverhampton. Well this year he has his moment - he has the star part. Yes he is Aladdin, and his mum, and brother, and also my youngest son, his Uncle Ben, are all in it too. So if any of you are in the area, there are still a few seats available. It is on 20th-24th January. Pop along and see some Perrys having fun! Marcus will actually be on the stage on the night of his birthday so I thought this card might be quite appropriate.

I wish I could remember where I got this file from. I think I got it as a svg and converted it to a Silhouette Studio file. So if anyone knows where it might have come from, please let me know so I  can give credit where credit is due! I really must find a better way to catalogue all my files for Silhouette. 

Anyway, I chose a sheet of shaded orange card and folded it to make a DL card.  I resized the image to fit it, ungrouped all the little stars, and removed the larger ones. Then I cut the rest, and the letters at the top, from black vinyl. It was a real pain to weed as the tiny stars kept lifting with the transfer tape, and I ended up placing quite a lot of them by hand and eye, because they had moved from their original position. Fortunately you can move them around a bit when you first place them, though after a day they are well and truly fixed.

Then I took  the larger stars that I had removed and divided them into four sets. I found some tiny snippets of metallic vinyl left over from my Christmas crafts, and cut one set out of each of green, red, copper and gold. I kept the full image on my screen to help me place them in the right positions, and to finish off I cut a fancy script Happy Birthday from black and shiny red vinyl, and offset them slightly to give a double image. You can just see it in the photo.
The problem is that, having learned to be really frugal, and use up the tiniest snippets of card, paper and especially vinyl, my boxes of larger snippets are not getting emptied out very fast! I think that had better be one of my goals for this year. Always use snippets when you can!
But for now I will take these tiny ones over to Pixie´s Snippets Playground, and see whether anyone else is out to play.

Happy New Year
 to all my friends and followers.